Uyinene Mrwetyana's family shares grief after her killer is sentenced to life: 'We don't have any sympathy for him'

Luyanda Botha in Western Cape High Court on Friday. (Bertram Malgas, News24)
Luyanda Botha in Western Cape High Court on Friday. (Bertram Malgas, News24)

The family of slain student Uyinene Mrwetyana on Friday welcomed the three life terms handed down to her rapist and killer Luyanda Botha, saying they did not believe his confession meant he was remorseful.

Her uncle Vuyani Mrwetyana said outside the Western Cape High Court that Botha only confessed and pointed out where he raped and killed his 19-year-old niece after realising the police had found where he buried and set alight her body.

"So for us that is neither here nor there. What he did was he was trying to gain sympathy," he said.

"We don't have any sympathy for him. His crime for us is a classic act of man's inhumanity."

Botha said in court that he had written something for the family, which would be handed to them by his lawyer.

Asked for his reaction on the letter, Vuyani said: "Surely under the circumstances, we won't have any ears for that."

After hearing Botha's plea that he met Mrwetyana two weeks earlier and organised to be alone with her, Vuyani said it was quite clear that he had lured his niece to the Clareinch post office in Claremont on August 24.

WATCH | Luyanda Botha enters plea and sentencing agreement for Uyinene Mrwetyana rape, murder

The prosecution will be relying on the testimony of 16 State witnesses in its bid to prove its case against Luyanda Botha for the rape and murder of Uyinene Mrwetyana. Watch Friday's proceedings, live from the Cape Town High Court here.

It also made them question whether Botha had "done this before", Vuyani said.

He described the plea and sentencing agreement as a "pocket of excellence on the part of the criminal justice system" that they appreciated, even though it wouldn't bring their loved one back.

In terms of the agreement, Botha, 42, will serve a life sentence for murder, two life sentences on both counts of rape, and five years for defeating the course of justice. The five-year sentence will run concurrently.

He will not be eligible for parole for 25 years. Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe confirmed the sentence.

In a family statement penned by Mrwetyana's mother Nomangwane, she said the "sudden annihilation of our princess" had left an everlasting void for her, her husband and their son Esona.

"They had so much hope for the future including times when they would be parents themselves. All those dreams and future ideals have been unceremoniously stolen away from both Esona and Uyinene, what a loss."

She shared that her daughter hoped to conquer the local and international scenes in the media and film industry.

"We are hopeful that Nene's murder is not in vain... the foundation and scholarship in your honour will help us further your great deeds and we shall impact young lives who will go on to spread the love to the world over."

The family had full confidence in the justice system.

"We are not okay without you Bhelekazi. We cannot be. Your friends who have become family are not okay Nene, the women of this country are not ok, young girls are not ok, we are a bleeding country."

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